WATCH: Singing protesters halt waste authority meeting

Opposition to Clyde Loakes continuing at head of NWLA

Friday, 24th June — By Richard Osley


The site in Edmonton

The moment the meeting is interrupted

SINGING protesters angry over the building of a new waste-burning incinerator brought a waste authority meeting to a standstill.

The campaigners caught members of the North London Waste Authority by surprise as nominations were sought for a chair to oversee the body for the next 12 months. They are opposed to Clyde Loakes holding the role again.

Officers and councillors looked unsure what to do when one protester in the public seats launched into a rewritten version of The Supremes’ Stop In The Name Of The Love – before the others joined in. Their version’s lyric included the line ‘Don’t elect Clyde Loakes’.

The singing halted proceedings temporarily while the rooms as cleared and Mr Loakes was reappointed in a private session. His tenure in the last year has put him on a collision course with the campaigners who think building an enlarged incinerator to deal with the waste from seven boroughs – including Camden and Islington – will harm the environment with toxic emissions.

The NWLA voted to go ahead with the project in December, warning that the current plant was too old and needed replacing.

Dorothea Hackman, from XR Camden, said: “We’re right in the middle of an environmental and climate catastrophe that is happening and we need urgently to reverse the decisions for these appalling infrastructure projects.We have over-provisioned incineration throughout the United Kingdom.

“Incinerators need to be stopped right away so that the construction does not cause emissions and pollution. This particular piece of infrastructure will cause pollution from now for 50to 70 years and it is not sensible to wait another year to let it just roll forward.We have to act now.”

She told the meeting: “The current chair has been in place for 14 years now. In other bodies, government bodies, 10 years would be the natural limit.”

“The reasons for this are very obvious. People become very wedded to decisions that they have made earlier and have difficulty hearing legitimate and evidenced objections and complaints”

A spokesperson for North London Waste Authority said “Protesters shut down a democratic meeting to push their views and make personal attacks on Members of the North London Waste Authority, both past and present.

“NLWA is a democratic organisation made up of councillors who have been recently elected by residents across north London to represent them, and which the seven north London boroughs select for membership of the Authority.

“NLWA has always welcomed and encouraged residents to make deputations at our meetings, however, shutting down a meeting and preventing democratic processes calls into question the real motives of the protesters.

“After several attempts to restart the meeting, NLWA was forced to pause the meeting after not making it past the first agenda item due to protestors’ actions. The AGM was restarted after a delay. The other items for discussion will be heard at future meetings.

“We do not have time to delay our response to the Climate Emergency, but the protestors did not let us discuss vital items on the agenda, including much needed plans to bring forward essential waste management facilities for two million residents, and a Residual Waste Reduction Plan to champion the circular economy.”

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